In praise of: “Aground/Aerial” Rhythm & Sound (Rhythm & Sound, 2012)

There’s something extremely attractive about the stripped-back, but highly insistent minimalism of this 2012 release from Berlin producers, Rhythm & Sound. As even though you’d expect the cool of the music to reduce the feeling, in fact, it does the opposite.

Allowing the elements to be exposed like this makes the music appear rich and redolent of meaning (full of heart), while demonstrating a deep knowledge of the essence of the dub genre, which is all about purity. It helps that I discovered this music via these kinds of super-simple videos as well, forever my preference.

Below the videos is a sweet and earnest request that appeals to me : “To be played on a suitably loud system, bass being of great importance.”

My favourite of the two is perhaps “Aground” mainly because of the way the music maintains a self-contained universe, rarely diverging from the centre; and I just really like that sound that reminds me of drops on rain on animal-skin, alongside all those incidental sounds that create the highly textured background.   

Rhythm & Sound don’t seem to have a big online presence, at least based on my fairly speedy research; here’s some info from Discogs on their releases, dating back to 1996.  

Wikipedia tells us:

Rhythm & Sound is a dub techno German record label, a sub-label of Basic Channel. It was founded in Berlin by the duo Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, also known as Basic Channel. The label released seven 12-inch singles and one CD compilation album between 1997 and 2002.

But how about this, in 1998 they re-issued, or released, Chosen Brothers / Rhythm & Sound - "Mango Walk / Mango Drive"? See my appreciation of this pretty obscure track from 1979 that I published in June last year. Birds of a feather, it seems … (Or once again some angel looking out for me).